The National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) 2016 – 2026 – a sector-wide 10-year strategy aimed at increasing tourism’s direct contribution to the economy, job creation and national development objectives – has been approved by the cabinet.
The Department of Tourism commissioned the review of the NTSS – the first of which was published in 2011 – in 2015 to ensure that the strategy remains relevant in a rapidly changing global environment as well as to align it to the NDP and the Tourism Act 3 of 2014. The process culminated in the second iteration of the NTSS renamed as the NTSS 2016 – 2026.
“This approval comes at a particularly exciting time for tourism globally and in South Africa. Tourism is a growth sector and generator of jobs, and tourism destinations need to position themselves to take advantage of this sector’s growth trajectory. The NTSS is therefore well placed to respond to the country’s development imperatives and transformation agenda.
“Through the strategy, we aim to further increase the direct contribution of tourism to the economy through partnerships, research-based collaborative planning, and the implementation of agreed priority actions underpinned by responsible tourism,” said Minister of Tourism, Tokozile Xasa.
The NTSS is reinforced by five strategic pillars:
• Effective marketing
• Facilitating ease of access
• Visitor experience
• Destination management and
• Broad-based benefits
The strategy also outlines comprehensive action plans for implementation by various stakeholders within the tourism value chain.
Effective strategy implementation
“The NTSS has set clear targets in respect of increasing the direct contribution of tourism to the GDP from R118bn in 2015 to R302bn in 2026 while increasing direct jobs supported by the sector from 702,824 to one million,” said Xasa.
The Department will lead, support, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the NTSS. In addition, the strategy provides for institutional arrangements and structures for public and private sector participation to ensure coordinated implementation efforts.
“I would like to convey my gratitude to the Panel of Experts that oversaw the process, as well as the public and private sector stakeholders who took part in the revision of the NTSS. It is without a doubt only through these kinds of partnerships that we can effectively implement this strategy and do tourism successfully,” concluded Xasa.